“Earphones” – Nayana Nair

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I cannot paint

your silhouette moving through the rain toward me-
all the blue that lingered in the light rain, on my skin, in the wait for you.

The color that fills my mind when I recall
how your cold hands met mine, my frozen shivering love hungry hands,
and nothing was cold anymore,
nothing was insufferable,
as long as you and me stayed like this,
accepting the ache that comes with staying.

The song, the familiar and strange tune, that became beautiful
by the time it played for 35th time, by the time our cola lost its fizz,
by the time the untouched food looked comforting,
by the time I found that knowing you and your everything
was as painful and liberating as putting myself into words.

The tension
of the stretched earphones between our head and our aching necks,
a moment of sadness, of a great love, of a great end
played itself before us again and we promised ourselves- we won’t ever be there.
And yet as you mocked the world for its weakness
I cried for the same weakness you and me hid in ourselves.

The cold wind that went through me, as you walked past me,
my pride- ground and powdered, spilling out of me,
blinding and confusing people around me,
making me look desperate, pitiful, and empty
as I chased you through streets where we were never supposed to be.

I cannot draw them, so I write.
I write
how we stood together
in every room,
on every patch of earth
for the longest time
and saw within our reach
something that was beautiful and fragile
and no one’s to keep
as long as we saw each other only,
as long as we could smile at what we saw.

I remember you as you stayed still,
breathing carefully
as we let fate make something out of us.
I remember your eyes
asking me with a smile to confirm the reality of what we had,
of what we are.

I wonder how you remember me now.
Now that we are living our lives trying only to prove
that we have lost nothing of ourselves in losing each other.

“Is this what this distance, this decision means?” – Nayana Nair

With my back to the my cold family name
the metallic alphabets printing hard on my clothes,
I stand
with my feet half out of my pretty shoes –
with my painted nails still hidden in the skin of another animal,
my hands revolving the beautiful replica of Saturn
around the plastic heart on my elaborate key chain- a stage of its own.
I stand and wait for you to open your door on the floor above.
I hear a faint click, a phone ring, footsteps running away from the world
(why do I feel such sadness when I hear that?),
a door left open (to everyone but me)
I sit in the middle of my living room floor
staring up, at the underside- the creeping mold
of the stage where I played your lover, your nemesis.
It is cruel and incomprehensible that we can still live,
take calls, make jokes, eat, and still have the want to live.
After hurting ourselves and the world for the sake of love,
after all that, is this is it?
When you find your room, your world without me
which direction does your heart turn towards?
Do forget from time to time that we are supposed to forget each other?
When I find my loneliness becoming greater than me,
when it starts spilling out of me on dinner table,
when it makes me lose my mind, am I allowed to let go of you?
Is this what this distance, this decision means?
I hear your window open, I hear your excited voice
(why do I feel color of anger filling me again?).
I wonder if you have really found your new life
or is this an act you have put for my benefit?
Your kindness could only be in my head, as was your love.
TV drowns your voice again
and I thank all the accidents, all the things out of my control,
everything that moves us away from each other.
Otherwise, I never could.

“Small Impossible Dream” – Nayana Nair

Her floor had always been the color of the season
I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life.
The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers
The pink, red, yellows, and greens,
women who only know youth,
women who only grow younger
the kind of woman she wanted to be
(what a small impossible dream)
and she almost is.
And now that she can never change
would she be happy?
When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters
would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”?
I shatter the home of her missing goldfish
in my haste efforts to pick them up
and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper
that my eyes can’t handle.
I try to put them away,
wanting to throw them away
now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me
or anyone for taking away too much of her.
I want to try it.
i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me.
“let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief.
“i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve”
shouts back my anger and my love.
I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed.
Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket,
her last mistake, her last breath
everything spilling out,
everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.

“Now what?” – Nayana Nair

For a change I made breakfast for one
and didn’t cry over it.
I didn’t turn back as he packed his favorite parts
of this heavy life with me.
He didn’t ask me about the things I have hidden away.
I felt a bitter thankfulness
that my memories are mine to keep,
that my beautiful moments have been erased from his heart,
that I am not a part of his greed and schemes anymore,
that nothing in me can be ruined by him after this.

I simply stared at the milk that won’t boil
as he dragged away in his small heart
the window frames, the doors to my cold world,
the warm flame of my blue stove,
the table mats on which we spilled our hearts by mistake,
the songs that I will never be able to sing again,
the doorbell, the welcome mat, our plants
that never grew more than a millimeter
in spite of the four years
of sunlight and rain.
Mistakes. We created so much with love,
only to call them mistakes.

I heard the door close behind me,
my so called “heart” moving away without me
and all I could do was hope or pity myself.
All I could do was hate him
so that I can finally give up.

“Folds” – Nayana Nair

You are gone
and I try to hold the spoon like you used to.
I chew my food with my left molars as you did.
The ghosts that I have wronged, that I have forgotten
now include half of my teeth, teeth you would have never used.

You are gone
and you are happy (probably).
So I memorize name and phone number
of your every friend,
I recall the fondness you had for them.
I wear your feelings when I meet them,
I wear your feelings even when they won’t fit me.
I wonder if they noticed how I was spilling at some places,
how I was non existent in other folds-
folds that used to hold you so well.

You are gone
and I am gone (or that’s what I think).
I am my work, I am my songs,
I am the adjectives you made for me,
I am the report cards, I am the dust that settles on it,
I am the afternoon TV shows, I am the language I don’t understand.
I am what I am fond of.
I am mostly just you.

You are gone
and I fear
there is no one that can
stop me from growing
into you.

“A Silent Machinery” – Nayana Nair

I put on my favorite show
(that I have seen for umpteenth time),
increase the volume,
fill my plate.
My eyes glued to TV
notices too late all that I have spilled,
fill my plate with things I won’t eat.

The same beautiful scene.
Under the yellow light
stand two actors,
pretending to be in love,
doing a better job at it
that we ever could,
saying words
we could never say.

My heart breaks to see this love,
it pops like a bubble wrap,
bursts like a bubble of daydreams.
No, it doesn’t hurt.
I just hear a sound
from the otherwise silent machinery
that keeps me running.

I am glad you meant enough to me
to have become
a familiar bump on the familiar road
that my heart always takes.

“Temperature of this world” – Nayana Nair

all the folded boats
spill out of my empty books.

the trees are on fire again.
my mind is on a another wild chase.

my hands light some more branches.
“the world is too cold for me”,
is all that i can say.

today, i am less sad than yesterday,
which makes everything that much more difficult.

today my sorrows have become facts.
my childhood reduced to folded boats in a trash can.

is there any other way to live than this?

“god’s work” – Nayana Nair

i wanted to say
please don’t drag my god
into your selfish quest for power.
please don’t turn my god
into a tool to manipulate mind.
but i couldn’t say those things
for my god was no longer my god,
he/she belonged to people who were ready
to accept any lie, any cruelty
to propagate their beliefs and their way of life
to protect their gods (or so they say).
so i had no choice
but to cut myself from this doctrine
of power and numbers.
not to protect my god,
but to protect my mind and myself,
to protect my faith in the endangered humanity
when all i face are the proofs of its non-existence,
when all i find are people who think shaming people
and spilling blood is god’s work.
maybe it is selfish
but i want to remember my god as someone more kinder.

“Losing my delusions” – Nayana Nair

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I am stuck somewhere between
the hopeless continuation
and the frightening end.
The spiraling down tower of
love, the staggering me-
filled to brim with saved up hopes
spilling, losing one calming delusion at a time-
wasted on the people, wasted on reality
that never wants to change,
never wants to grow.
The soft sky falling on this world
talking everything with itself,
except me.

“Spilling the Ink” – Nayana Nair

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You ask why I don’t stay and fight.
You ask if I realise that
I can win as much as others.
I tell you that everyone has a dream.
And what I get by staying and fighting,
are not my dream.
That I cannot live in this world
of regulated self-expression.
Always fearing when I would spill out of the lines.
So even if my broken is not as shabby and scattered.
Even if my madness is not the sort
that can get admiration.
Even if my hands struggle with holding myself where I am.
Just know that I leave,
not because of aversion to this world,
nor to find a better place.
I leave cause I cannot breathe in water
even if I want to.